I just saw @ThatKevinSmith’s Red State. It was the perfect movie to watch on 9/11: full of violence, sanctimonious religion, and terror in the name of anti-terrorism. It’s such an American movie. If you really want to feel the grim despair of living in God’s own America, this is the movie to see — a painful vision of our nightmare.
That’s really how I feel: we have been marching backwards since 9/11, throwing away our civil liberties, lashing out at the world with violence, as if that will solve anything. For contrast, read this description of what Martin Luther King did for the country. He inspired people to stand up for their rights, and got African Americans to unite and demand respect.
At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.
My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”
Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.
But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.
He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.
It was a great stride forward for black people. Yet when you look at the last ten years, what do we see? The opposite. The country rushing to embrace fear. There’s nothing to honor today. Americans should see this as a day of shame, not because we were attacked, but for how we responded afterwards — we left courage behind and became a nation of bullies and cowards.
And that’s all I have to say about 9/11.